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From a canoe or kayak, see highlights of black history along the Little Calumet River

Image courtesy of Openlands


Openlands and partner organizations in the Chicago region have been working for years to improve the enjoyment and quality of local rivers.

That work includes designating more than 500 miles of “water trails” on the Calumet, Chicago, Des Plaines, Fox and other rivers, and creating an online guide to canoeing or kayaking on those waterways.

Now, Openlands and regional friends are making its first attempt at creating a historical tour on a waterway: the African American Heritage Water Trail along the Little Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Channel on the Far South Side. The trail takes in important people, places and events in local Black history going back more than a century.

The heritage trail starts at Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Beaubien Woods boat ramp and continues west for seven miles along the Little Calumet and Cal/Sag, under I-57 to the Village of Robbins…Please click here for Jerome McDonnell’s story on WBEZ

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